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India's 5 most-valued business groups; Tatas lead

Last updated on: August 16, 2010 15:03 IST

Image: Ratan Tata, chairman, Tata Group
Photographs: Reuters

Coinciding with the beginning of a search for chairman Ratan Tata's successor, the Tata Group has become the country's wealthiest, with a market value of about Rs 371,000 crore (Rs 3,710 billion) -- higher than that of the business houses led by the two Ambani siblings.

On a standalone basis, the Tatas have replaced Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries group as the country's biggest in terms of market value at a time when the issue of finding a successor to iconic industrialist Ratan Tata as the next chairman of the salt-to-software group is hogging the limelight.

Earlier this month, the Tata Group announced that it has set up a search panel for identifying a successor to Ratan Tata, who assumed charge of the group in 1991 and is scheduled to retire in December, 2012.

The cumulative market capitalisation of about 30 listed Tata Group companies currently stands at nearly Rs 371,000 crore -- a surge of nearly Rs 35,000 crore (Rs 350 billion) in the current quarter beginning July.

At the end of the previous quarter (April-June 2010), the Tata Group had a total market cap of Rs 326,000 crore (Rs 3,260 billion) -- making it the second-most-valued firm after the Mukesh Ambani group.

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India's 5 most-valued business groups; Tatas lead

Image: Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Photographs: Reuters

2. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance group

With just two listed companies -- Reliance Industries (RIL) and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Ltd (RIIL) the Mukesh Ambani group had a market cap of nearly Rs 358,000 crore (Rs 3,580 billion) at the end of the previous quarter. It has declined by nearly Rs 37,000 crore (Rs 370 billion) so far in the current quarter.

However, the Tatas would be relegated to second position if the market values are combined of the two Reliance groups -- one led by Mukesh Ambani and another by younger sibling Anil -- in the backdrop of their now harmonious relationship after years of acrimony till a few months ago.

The combined market capitalisation of the two Ambani groups currently stand at nearly Rs 447,000 crore (Rs 4,470 billion) -- higher than the Tatas by nearly Rs 77,000 crore (Rs 770 billion).

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India's 5 most-valued business groups; Tatas lead

Image: Anil Agarwal, chairman, Sterlite.

3. Anil Agarwal-led Sterlite group

The Anil Agarwal-promoted Sterlite group ranks third with a market capitalisation of Rs 135,300 crore (Rs 1,353 billion).

Anil Agarwal is founder-director and executive chairman of the UK-based Vedanta Resources corporation, which owns mining and metal resources in India, Australia and Zambia.

He is ranked 113th in Forbes magazine's 2010 list of the world's billionaires. He is the 10th richest Indian.

In 2007, he announced a $3.1 billion expansion of Vedanta Resources' capacities. In 2006, he donated $1 billion to establish the Vedanta University modelled on Stanford University. It will be built in Orissa on a 6,000 acre campus that will ultimately accommodate 100,000 students.

Agarwal, who founded the Vedanta group in 1976, is also chairman of Sterlite and is a Director of BALCO, HZL, and Vedanta Alumina Ltd. He has over 30 years' experience as an industrialist.

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India's 5 most-valued business groups; Tatas lead

Image: ADAG chairman Anil Ambani.
Photographs: Reuters

4. Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group

The Anil Ambani Group, with seven listed companies, currently has a total market value of nearly Rs 125,000 crore (Rs 1,250 billion) -- down from nearly Rs 142,400 crore (Rs 1,424 billion) at the end of the June quarter. The ADA Group stands at number 4 in terms of market cap.

The group was the country's third-most valued after the Mukesh Ambani and Tata Groups at the end of the previous quarter, but has since been overtaken by Sterlite.

Anil Ambani is the 36 richest man in the world and the 4th richest Indian.

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India's 5 most-valued business groups; Tatas lead

Image: Bharti chairman Sunit Bharti Mittal.
Photographs: Reuters

5. Sunil Mittal-led Bharti group

In terms of cumulative market capitalisation, the Sunil Mittal-led Bharti group ranks fifth. Its market cap is at Rs 120,500 crore (Rs 1,205 billion).

Chairman of Bharti Airtel, Sunil Mittal's rank has slipped to 4th place this year with a wealth of Rs 77,558 crore (Rs 775.58 billion). He is the 87th richest man in the world.

The market wealth of the top groups has been shaken in the past few days, especially due to a sharp rally in some Tata group stocks such as Tata Motors and Tata Steel, as well as erosion in the value of the Mukesh Ambani group's flagship firm, RIL, and ADAG firm RCom.

Reliance (both ADAG and MDAG) pack shares were on a rising spree after the warring siblings called a truce on May 23. However, in the past eight days of trade, RIL has risen only once. Last week alone, the company's market capitalisation was eroded by nearly Rs 7,000 crore (Rs 70 billion).

RIL, however, still remains the country's most valued company on an individual basis.

In the previous week, the Tata group's auto company Tata Motors' shares sky-rocketed after the company posted a robust June quarter profit. Tata Steel has also recorded smart gains recently.

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